February 7, 2007 8:58 AM   Subscribe

navapsvc.exe hogs 62-70% of processor time

I use the 2003 version of Norton SystemWorks, since everyone says later versions are bloated. Lately, navapsvc.exe, the Norton Antivirus Autoprotect scanner, has been hogging a minimum of 62%, and up to 70%, of processor capacity, making everything run at a snail's pace.

I've turned it off temporarily and surfed only to places I know are safe, and everything is nice and snappy.

Is there a setting to limit the amount of processor time/capacity it uses? Is that safe?

Or is it time to switch to virus protection with a smaller footprint? And if so, which one? I want the best protection, even if I need to buy a commercial program.
posted by KRS to Computers & Internet (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
They're definately better anti-virus programs out there that offer better protection as well as smaller footprints.

I personally use avast! but I've also had good experiences with AVG.

Both are free, not that bloated, and offer good protection.
posted by aznhalf at 9:12 AM on February 7, 2007

The problem with systemworks is that its just not a virus scanner. Its a suite of apps and for that you're going to pay the performance hit. If you just want virus protection you could go with the free version of AVG or avast! I dont see how spending money is giong to get you something much nicer than either of these. Perhaps with the exception of Symantec Corporate. Trend Micro hasnt been too bad either.

FWIW, All the norton products are notorious for their bloat.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:24 AM on February 7, 2007

If you want to keep Norton you could always right-click on navapsvc.exe in the task manager and Set Priority to Below Normal or Low. Im not sure if this will cause any problems with Norton or make you more vulnerable.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:26 AM on February 7, 2007

Norton's been bloated for a long time - you're going to have to go back farther than 2003 to find something that doesn't bog down your system.

If your mail server has virus and spam scanning (it should), and you just need local virus protection, ditch Norton completely and install something like Nod32. I use it throughout my company - lightweight and effective, without any extra cruft.
posted by chundo at 9:58 AM on February 7, 2007

I dumped Norton, moved to Trend which then also became a bloated system hog. Now I'm using F-Secure which is quite reasonably priced and doesn't seem to slow my system.
posted by jasper411 at 10:31 AM on February 7, 2007

Another vote for Avast! or AVG. Both are great and I use Avast! currently.

Most "Norton" products are bloaty, with the exception of the old Norton Ghost.
posted by TheAspiringCatapult at 10:43 AM on February 7, 2007

I asked a related question last fall. Since then--and on the advice of the kind folks in that thread--I've been using AVG Free and love it. My laptops run much better without Norton hogging all the processor. I uninstalled Norton and will never go back to it. I also still run Sygate Personal Firewall, which Symantec bought just so they could kill it. Those two tools, plus the hardware firewall on the router and a little common sense keep me plenty safe without dragging down my system.
posted by wheat at 10:56 AM on February 7, 2007

AntiVir is free and runs fine on my 800 Mhz subnote. Maybe you should consider switchinbg to Linux
posted by yoyo_nyc at 11:18 AM on February 7, 2007

I just want to echo the suggestions for ditching Norton and going with AVG Free or Nod32.

I used Norton Systemworks for many years throughout the late 90s and early '00s... about two or three years ago though I became very fed up with it's performance. I ditched it and went with Nod32 and I'll never, ever, ever, go back in a bazillion years.

Nod32 is written in Assembly which may not mean much to the uninitiated, but the pay off is that it's lightening fast and tiny.
posted by wfrgms at 11:55 AM on February 7, 2007

I use the free and open-source Clamwin. I like it, and it's just a virus scanner that looks at your disk and email. Firefox helps with protecting you from other nasties.
posted by wzcx at 12:07 PM on February 7, 2007

Well, it has been a long time since I've been on this particular soapbox, but..

Get rid of all anti-virus type software completely! Make sure you have a functional firewall, run Trend Micro's HouseCall once in a while, and quite crippling your computers performance over baseless fear.

Yes, really.
Well, to be honost, it has been a few months for me. Lets see if HouseCall finds anything today.
posted by Chuckles at 12:09 PM on February 7, 2007

1) Setup a proper firewall.
2) Run regular (daily at night?) virus and spyware scans with up-to-date definitions.
3) Disable any active-scan always-on resource-hog garbage
4) Don't download stupid things or open stupid email attachments

#1 and #4 are the most important, I follow those and I've never had a virus, or real spyware...

Switch to a mac.
posted by gomess at 1:10 PM on February 7, 2007

Something is wrong.

I run Norton on my XP machine, and it uses somewhere between 0 and 1% of the CPU.

I couldn't tell you *what* is wrong, but however much bloat people may accuse it of having, there is no possible way that it should be using that much CPU.

Does it continue to behave that way if you uninstall/reboot/reinstall?
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 1:56 PM on February 7, 2007

Here's a vote against AVG. (When I log in at work, my computer is very slow until AVG finishes its updates.)
posted by salvia at 12:11 AM on February 8, 2007

One word...Kaspersky. McAfee/Symantec have been known to buy virus definitions and fixes from Kaspersky. I've run it for *years* on systems from PII 400's to brand new dual core's, and I've never seen it go above 1%. It's passive-always-on scanning is way WAY nicer than Nortons. It's not free, but in this case, you DEFINITELY get what you pay for.
posted by TomMelee at 6:03 AM on February 8, 2007

Another for for AVG (perhaps as a countercountervote to salvia's countervote). You can turn autoupdate off quite easily, as I had also grown irritated to the update screen that was very nosy from me doing other things. Apparently they haven't yet mastered (or even provided an option for) a background update.
posted by Quarter Pincher at 7:21 AM on February 8, 2007

Thanks, Quarter Pincher, I'll look into it. I've been lazy about taking steps to cut down startup slowness on my work computer.
posted by salvia at 11:05 PM on February 11, 2007

It's likely a conflict between programs in your startup.

See this

I'd suggest leaving nav running and systematically disabling applications in your start menu to find out what is causing the problem.

To do this quickly disable half your startup apps at a time. Then when you find what half contains the conflicting program disable half of that group..until you find the problem.

Then post your solution here so others can be helped in the future.
posted by srboisvert at 4:11 AM on February 27, 2007

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